“A Valentines For Jim.”

“One day,  A 5 year old asked her big brother;  “What is love?” He replied;  “Love is when you steal my chocolate from my school pack everyday…and I still keep it in the same place.” ~ Author unknown.


The  “much awaited’ day has  finally arrived. The one day that this “month of love” is centered upon… Valentines day! What exactly is Valentines day? (Besides the day we enjoy an abundance of rich dark chocolates, bake winsome heart shaped cookies for our kids classroom party,vdd41 answer the doorbell to a ‘PRO Flowers’ delivery man, holding an extremely impressive  bouquet of red roses, (or white,) 🙂 hear our favorite love songs playing on the radio all day,  receive an unexpected gift from our sweetheart, or express our heart felt sentiments to the ones we love, on a Hallmark greeting card.)  🙂

What you may not know is that Valentines Day is also Known as The feast of Saint Valentinevalentine11 It is a holiday celebrated in many countries all over the world such as Italy, Britain, Australia, Austria, France, Germany Japan and Denmark.  It began as  a liturgical celebration of one or more, early Christian Saints named Valentinus.

One celebrated account of this passionate holiday is the story of Saint Valentine of Rome. It is noted that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry, as well as for his ministry to the Christians, who were being unjustly  persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, while imprisoned, Saint Valentine healed the jailors daughter of an illness…before his execution, he wrote her a letter and signed it “Your Valentine,” as a farewell. (I wonder if he had any inkling that his letter would start a worldwide holiday for expressing LOVE?)

In the18th century, the tradition of courtly loved flourished in England and Valentines day evolved  into an occasion for ‘sweethearts”  to  express their love with flowers, confections and homemade cards, (known as Valentines.)

hearts100In the 19th century,  Valentine cards became mass produced, thus we have an ample array of Valentine  greeting cards to choose from… As of current, the symbols created for this romantic day are hearts, doves and the renowned winged cupid!

Valentines day, means something unique to each of us… For some, it’s a traditional celebration and a day filled with extravagant gifts, romantic dinners and jewelry…For others, its a day to tell your “sweetheart” you love them, give them  a valentine, a big hug and kiss and go about the day. 🙂 I believe the importance we place upon this holiday has a lot to do with our childhood, heritage, personality as well as our age and the season of life we are in.

inspired52As a little girl, growing up in our large family of 9, Valentines day meant that at some point in the day,  my mom would receive an elaborate, beautifully decorated, red- heart shaped box, filled with a variety of scrumptious chocolates form my dad. (Sometimes through the mail if he was oversees.) My mom was so tender hearted and shared her bounty of confections with us, (her 7 kids,) every Valentines day.  We all enjoyed our festive  party at school and were ecstatically happy if we got a colorful Valentine from that one “special someone” we had a crush on .


My giddy feelings changed drastically about this romantic holiday as Ihearts111 began high school…  My brothers had beautiful girlfriends, and they could hardly wait to give them their engaging  red, heart shaped boxes of chocolates, along with a dozen red roses. My older sister had so many boyfriends, I had  lost count. I, on the other hand, (very shy) did not have a boyfriend and  always felt a little lonely that day…My mom always came to my rescue by leaving me a big basket of colorful M&M’s outside my beautiful katbedroom door Valentines day morning.  (She knew it was my favorite candy and that I needed a little cheering up.)  Along with the candy , was a sweet card telling me that  “She’d be my valentine.”   She was so thoughtful and the candy really did help…(a little.) 🙂


danny1Valentines can also be a celebration of Friendship…its not necessarily just a “Sweethearts Day” festivity.  If you don’t have a ‘special someone,’ you can always go out with  your girlfriends… enjoy getting all bedecked in  “RED,”  and go dancing and celebrate the love of your friends. (Guys you can do the same…maybe taming down the red a bit.) 🙂 I remember one year in mydanny3 twenties, for Valentines day, my sister and I, (both single,)  met for lunch at our favorite eatery in Irvine California on our lunch hour. Right before I left,  a young, attractive man from our company was passing out a long stem red rose to each single lady…it made me feel so special. Another valentines, when I was not dating anyone, my trainer at the gym, (while I began my workout,) secretly took a single stem rose with a card out to my cardanny and placed it on my front seat. When I saw it, it really touched my heart. We can give a Valentine and express our love for any special person in our life, no matter “what  category of love” our relationship falls under. 🙂


When I met kit, I adored valentines day…he always picked out the most gorgeous long stem, lovered roses and bought me handmade, chocolate truffles from a  chocolateier shop, nested within the Harbor in Dana Point CA. Our first Valentines together, he kidnapped me from work and whisked me off to Palm Springs for the day, wined and dined me and we had the most wonderful time, enjoying the newness of our love and spending an entire day together…Its a heartening memory  I will never forget… (6 months later, we were engaged.) 🙂


Through our married life, we still celebrate this romantic holiday. Not always with expensive red roses and intricate truffles..hello2.but we do something special for one another,  remembering the day and thanking God for one another and our love. Graham of course, always gets a special treat that day, lots of hugs and kisses and wonders “Whats up guys…its to soon to be my birthday?” 🙂


How do you celebrate Valentines day at your house? If you have kids, your holiday is probably centered around them…helping them make all their valentine cards for their classmates, jimbo99baking 30 cupcakes or heart shaped cookies for their valentines day party… If you are off at College, perhaps their is a Valentines dance, or you expectantlycutiepie 13 wait for the mail delivery to arrive to get that special card in the mail from your sweetheart that lives far away. Better yet, maybe they will decide to surprise you and  fly out to see you in person. ( After all, it is a day of “dreams coming true.”) 🙂 If you are engaged, I can only imagine your celebration this year… all the bells and whistles, I am sure! 🙂

topten 166According to our local radio station, the most popular things to do for your ‘sweetheart ” on Valentines day are; Taking them on a romantic getaway for the weekend… going out for a romantic dinner, saying “I love you,”  morning, afternoon and evening in some new and creative way,  giving a gift for no reason,  Of course, giving a box of decadent chocolates, sending Roses, writing your heartfelt  sentiments on a greeting card, going to see a romantic movie together and making a special dinner for the other person. ( I am sure these are just a few of many thoughtful and romantic ideas.)

This year, I will make Kit his favorite dinner, served by candlelight, shower Grantham with lots of love, hugs, attention and TREATS…but  I also  decided to take the time,  (in celebrating this month of love,)  to do something entirely different.  In recognizing what a very special love my big brother and I shared for 51 years, I decided to write a tribute, (a letter of love,)  to him…I’m calling it ” A Valentines for Jim.” ifonly100 I belelive that there are few people in life that we allow ourselves to love with our entire heart and receive that same kind of love back… Jim was one of those people. He was my big brother, a best friend through my life and someone I adored… he died unexpectedly while vacationing in his favorite place in the world, Cabo San Lucas . This letter-valentine  is an expression of how very much I treasure our wonderful years together...I believe a Valentines is an expression of the heart…not limited to romantic love, but for the deep love within our hearts for any person who has blessed our lives beyond words…Ifonly503 Normally, I would not think to sit down and write a letter of love and appreciation to my brother, (though I do talk to him at times, like I know we all do when we lose someone dear to our hearts,)  (OK, most of us do…) 🙂 But, I  have to say, it has been a blessing as well as a walk down memory lane. YES, there have been some tears of joy, some real “missing” going on within my heartstrings, 🙂 but  it has been heartening, enlivening and very rewarding for my soul. I do know that I will keep this “Valentine to Jim,”  forever… (Probably in  a heart shaped  box under our bed.)  🙂

Maybe you have someone that you have wanted to write  a letter to. A spouse that has  died, a sibling, an ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend,  a beloved pet you have lost , a grandparent, someone who gave their life to save yours…or to whoever that special person is,  that is on your heart.  Writing is a form of expressing your heart, whether to read alone or share with the world…I am a firm believer that writing is a great blessing for the soul. How about writing them a “Valentine,” during this Month of love?

jimbo209A month after Jim died, I wrote a tribute to him and read it at his memorial service…I can’t tell you how much that helped my grief…Today, I am healed from my grief, yet it was still eminently rewarding to sit down and think about all the wonderful times Jim and I shared, what gifts he bestowed to my life and share my heart with him, believing somehow he can hear my heart and see my words…

There is a song by Josh Grobin that helped me tremendously  when  Jim died…its lyrics give such hope that those who die, are still living, just in a different place, only a breathe away…

” Cause your my forever love, watching me from up above
And I believe that angels breathe, and that love will live on
And never leave,
Fly me up to where you are,beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight, To see you smile
If only for a while to know you’re there
A breath away is not far to where you are.”

hearts102I hope that whatever way you choose  to celebrate this Romantic holiday, that it is blessed with love and an abundance of heart felt joy! (And if you are a lover of chocolate,  I pray you receive the  most elaborate, elegant and extra large box you have ever been given.) 🙂


As I close a portion of this blog, I open another…  I want to share my “Valentines” to my brother with you, my readers… If not for any other reasons than just to “share with everyone” what a beautiful person my brother was and perhaps inspire a few of you to do the same with the love in your heart for someone that is now gone.  Writing about someone you have loved and  lost  is a beautiful way to keep their memory alive… it can be likened to  an autobiography, a DVD filled with songs and photographs that share who someone was all about while here on this earth, or old movies on 35 mm vintage film reels, (the kind our parents inherited,) to keep the memories of their loved ones who had died, alive.  I hope that every-time I read this Valentines for Jim,  that my heart will be blessed with our many, many wondrous memories and that he will come alive within my heart and mind, all over again. HE WAS A GIFT FROM GOD, LIKE NO OTHER!




Hi Jimbo,

It’s hard to believe that its been  3 years since you, (I like to say) graduated to Heaven. 🙂 I think about you every single day and miss you more than I believed a heart could miss someone.When Patrick called on Halloween night to tell me the news that you had died in your sleep while on vacation, It was so surreal. I couldn’t grasp it as TRUTH. The minute the truth did seep in, (just a tiny bit of it,)  I could not stop crying out to the Lord…”No God…not my Jim!”    Loosing you unexpectedly, turned all of our lives upside down …it took me a long time to come to a place where I could  accept your death and allow myself to walk through the emotions of such a deep loss. My heart was broken.  The grief was deeper and darker than anything I’d known. At times, I  was worried I wouldn’t come through it, merriment but of course, you already know  all this…I can hear the words you were probably speaking up there, during that tenebrous time in our lives…
Straighten up little sis, 🙂  get it together, the Lord is there to help you…we will see each other again and it will be forever…I know I was your guardian angel on earth, but now I’m one of your angels in Heaven, by the way, it is so beautiful up here…You will love it.” 🙂

You were right…with Gods grace, a lot of prayer and love, I made it to the other side…God not only healed all the darkness inside, but He healed my body and brought me health, strength , peace and a joy I thought I’d lost. Now, I still think of you everyday , cry tears of joy, smile and thank God I had a best friend and “big Bother,” that I loved so deeply, that in return loved me the same way. And, I DO KNOW we will be together again …That is my great hope and joy in the tragic loss of you going away.

jimbo301I will still have to deal with all my future dreams of us…You, (your wife, that we all believed you’d meet one day,)  and  Kit and I , sitting together  in grandiose white rockers on a porch with a sublime and picturesque view…(with our hearing aids turned up really loud,) rocking away in our chairs, talking about any and everything as we all  grow old together. 🙂  When Kit and I have our Prayer Retreat Home one day, (Yes, we still believe,) 🙂   we’ve already decided that one of the rooms will be named after YOU, one of our biggest supporters of the dream in our hearts. I still have all the thoughtful gifts you bought for us when that dream does comes true.

Knowing you are happy, healthy and with loved ones, and are charming the socks off everyone , ( I  guess there are no socks up there are there?)  well, it gives me great peace…(You charmed the whole world down here.. 🙂 )

Your memorial service was unbelievably beautiful…all your high school friends, buddies from work,  family, my girlfriends, your childhood and adult friends, even your old girlfriends, (that was interesting,) were there.  The room was packed with so many people, all there to share there hearts of love for the one and only “James W.”  You, my “Big Brother” are LOVED!

I didn’t  think I could stand up and share my heart that day…(a friend of mine gave me a Xanax…it helped. 🙂 (Plus, I know Gods grace and strength helped me tremendously.) Sharing my heart for you actually helped in comforting my pain…(Temporarily.)

Now I am writing to you…believing you can somehow see my words and heart… I know I am a “word” person, but I will make this short…(kind of.) 🙂 If I really shared all my heart with you, it would have to be within a book, not a letter! 🙂

jimbo215From our earliest memories of being babies together to our years of middle age, you blessed my life beyond words…you will always be one of Gods greatest gifts to my life.

Remember all the frolicsome, fun times we had as kids, growing up in Costa mesa, California? I remember one  late spring afternoon… There we were, the “three  partners in crime.” I was 7,  you were 8 and Rob was 9. Even though your  real  middle name was ‘William’ we all knew it was supposed to be mischievous.  Some days you’d say;   “Hey, lets go over to the Food Giant and flush Oscar Meyer hot dogs  down the toilets until they get stopped up… Or, we could  make some funny  prank phone calls when Mom leaves the house.  On other days you’d  coax us into playing ding dong ditch on our College Park culdesac.jimbo216 (Yes the  Harris kids were very popular in Costa Mesa California, in the 1960’s.) 🙂  I’ll never forget that one late afternoon in the summer.jimbo201You were brimming with  excitement, your big brown eyes were five times their normal size as you whispered; “Susan, the Good Year blimp is arriving to the  Big field next to the shopping center… Do you want to go watch it land?” Of course I wanted to go…I wanted to be wherever you were… (we just  had to run it by mom first.)

I can hear  mom talking to us in her sweet southern drawl, (as if it were yesterday,)   as she made it known  to us in no uncertain terms that, “there would be dire consequences if we went to see the blimp light in the ‘big field’ and did we understand?”   “YES malm,” we both nodded… Before I knew it, you were gone.  The roseate, gloaming hour arrived and there was still no YOU.  I knew you were daring, but really?jimbo225 Right after mom sad absolutely not! Suddenly, you  walked through the front door, a little bit  winded. Your face was radiant…you looked as if you had achieved a great feat…There was no way that you could even try to lie to mom.  As she stood in the hallway, looking at you with that certain look on her face, (you knew that look all to well,) 🙂 your final answer? “Yes Mom I did see the Goodyear  blimp and it was really cool.”

With that being said, mom replied, “Jim, your punishment is to go to bed without any supper.” Seeing your sad little face, I put my hands on my hips and said, “Well, Mom, if Jim has to go to bed without any supper then so will I.”  Thus, we both headed to our bedrooms and went to bed hungry. (Unless you had a snickers bar stashed away in your dresser..) 🙂  You and I always had  that special bond between us, since we were babies…

jimbo6As an adult, your heart was one of the biggest I’d ever seen, but it was true of you as well, when you were a little boy…Remember how  every Christmas  season, (OK, most of them,) you would sneak into our family room,  pick  out a gift, hide behind the couch, open it and then wrap it back up, acting so amazingly surprised when you unwrapped it again in front of our family on  Christmas morning? You didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and take away their joy as they got to watch you open their gift. (Plus you really did want to know what all you were getting ahead of time.) 🙂

You opened my eyes to the element of patience and surprise…   Remember that one Christmas,  before mom and dad were up, you quietly jaunted out to the family room and opened the white shudder doors so you could take a quick  peak at all that Santa had brought in the night? (All the things mom and dad had left unwrapped…)  You tiptoed back to my room and said,pat100 “ Susan,  I have  just seen everything that Santa brought.”  I begged you to please tell me if you saw my new baby doll I asked for… Without even a tiny bit of  hesitation, you said  “I looked and looked and I am so sorry Susan, but  there is no doll baby for you..”  My heart plummeted with sadness. Orange Juice poured, and mom and dads  cups of coffee in hand, we  all gathered by the double  doors.  As dad opened the shudder doors, there sitting on the brick hearth fire place was my huge, life size – huggable  doll baby… and of course  standing there, right beside me, you were grinning ear to ear,  as you said, “I  just wanted you to be surprised Susan, that’s why I did not tell you.”


I loved the season in our lives when we were room mates in our mid 20’s. When you purchased your new black Mercedes, (with heated seats,) you  blessed me with your  BMW…Just to make the “sale” legal, you only charged me $100.00 a month.jimbo221 I know you  got such a kick out of me driving around in a beautiful, classy  BMW…you knew I felt like a princess, jim11(and perhaps you thought I’d catch a wealthy boyfriend and could give you more money for our rent.) 🙂    You always had the BIGGEST HEART! I will never forget the day I was home sick from work and  you spent the entire afternoon, running to the fish market, gourmet  bakery shop and grocery store  gathering all kinds of  foods to create a “get well” dinner for me. You prepared and served fresh swordfish on the grill with  garden vegetables, a nice bottle of wine and pecan pie a la mode, ( my all time comfort foods.)  All you wanted to do was bless me with my favorite dinner, help me to feel better and to pamper me…again,  that’s what your heart was all about Jim…making others feel loved, special and important!

When I met Kit and we began courting, you highly approved and gave me the “thumbs up.”   Remember the night you  invited us out to dinner to Scot’s Bar and Grill in Costa Mesa?harbor11  Kit and I were  quite taken aback as we met you in the parking lot…you had  dauntlessly shaved  half of your mustache off… Your mission for the night?  Taking a public poll as to which side of your face was more handsome, thus making us, the wait staff and  many other  happily aghast diners at the eatery, laugh as well as leave with bright smiles. I was so happy that you and Kit  hit it off right away, as we shared many  wonderful times together.  We were so proud to have you in our wedding as one of Kits groomsmen. (Yahoo…your  half of a mustache  is gone…) (You looked “simply Marvelous” either way!)


To top off our blissful Wedding day, you let us ‘borrow’ your new  black Mercedes, to take on  our honeymoon to Santa Barbabra.How blessed was I to have mHappy20y dear brother and new husband to  be the best of friends? (And to have heated seats in the wine country of Northern CA. in the brisk season of  winter.) 🙂


We all went through the darkest storm of our lives when we lost mom to cancer… Life changed so drastically without her sweet spirit, loving heart and beautiful smile. She was the corner stone of our family of 9. I am so thankful our family was all together for at least 6 months after she died.  When Kit got a job offer in Arizona…leaving you and the family in California was almost unbearable…jimbo214 Remember the night you drove from Corona Del Mar to Mesa AZ., (straight through, ) and slept in the car in front of our house? When we woke up, we were perplexed as we saw a beautiful Cadillac in our driveway that we had never seen before…we quietly walked down the stairs on to the lawn, whispering to one another as we got the nerve up to look inside this suspicious automobile.. 🙂   Oh my gosh…it was you…you had bought us a new car and wanted to deliver it in person. Our hearts  were overwhelmed with joy, not only with the surprise of a new car, but  our highlight was to be able to see YOU, our precious JIM.

jimbo219If anyone adored Christmas time, it was YOU..YOU made it so very specjimbo253ial for every child in our family as well as for all of us “big Kids.”   For our  farewell , when Kit and I  were moving to the east coast,you created a Christmas  for us that was beyond imagination. The  guest bedroom in your  Corona Del Mar  home was a magical wonderland filled with snowmen, glistening white  lights, fresh flowers, fine wine, crystal glasses and candles.  Christmas Morning you wineyblew us away, surprising us with brand new coats for our new life in Virginia, leather gloves, scarves, new bathrobes, a rabbits hair vest for me and new suits, ties and a leather jacket for Kit as well as an ample assortment of Sees candy.  ( All three of our  favorite chocolates of all time.)



jimbo800Whether our years living in  California, Arizona, Virginia or  DC,  you were  like an angel from the Lord, watching over Kit and I, always making sure our world was A-OK. You always  chose the most creative ways to say hello and keep close… A funny  phone hellocall or perhaps inspiring, sentimental cards. (I have saved every one of them.) Do you remember this card you sent me with the little brother and sister at the beach? You wrote me how blessed we were to have each other throughout  all the years of our lives, that you loved me so much and how I brought an abundance of ‘comfortableness” to your life . I have the card on my desk now, and it brings me great comfort. (Seeing your handwriting, reading your hearts sentiments and feeling the close bond once again, we were so gracefully blessed to have been given.)  You always wrote the most beautiful letters,  encouraging e-mails, sent us extravagant  care packages,  prayed many a timely prayer for us on the phone,  and we adored all your extraordinary visits to each home we lived in over the years.  When we were kids, teenagers,  and young adults,jimbo you had such a way of always encouraging me when things looked down…When I got married, you doubled the portion by continuously  encouraging both kit and I, in every season of life we were walking through. Thank you!



Okay, besides being a trickster, you were the one person who went the extra mile to make everyone laugh…Whether our foreign taxi driver In Washington DC, (who could not understand your humor one bit, but boy did he try,)  the  downtown shop keepers  in Annapolis, (where you bought me my exquisite glittering gold sweater,) passerby’s at the Grand Canyon or our favorite eatery in Alexandriajimbo224…(The waiter never knew what hit him when you arrived.) 🙂 I remember the time you mooned us…Oh my gosh, I am still blushing as  I recall that memory… You were the best attorney ever, and your second occupation, at any given time could have been a prestigious comedian…Jimmy Fallen has nothing on you… 🙂 (And I mean nothing!) 🙂

The last time we saw each other,  you bought me my first pair of diamond earrings for my birthday… as we said our goodbyes at the airport,  (I know you were trying not to get emotional,)  (me too,) hello3you  had Kit, myself, along with many others in stitches, making us all laugh with your theatrical and  funny spectacles.I cried when I got on the airplane…saying goodbye  to you, was always so hard.

There came a time when our close, intimate and narrow path, that the three of us were traveling together in life, separated into two roads. It was one of the hardest times in my life, (Kit’s too,)  as we missed you so very much… We both had the assurance in our hearts that in time, everything would be as it was…we’d end up talking one holiday when you were up at dads, or get a card from you saying everything was OK between us…that’s what gave us hope and peace when we longed for the three of us being the best of friends again.) 🙂 (Which was very often!) 🙂

I want to share with you the phenomenal dream, I believe God gave to me one night…(You may already know “all about” this too.) 🙂

In my dream,  I was greeting our brotherAlex Alex as he arrived to our home in  Delaware with his family from California. (Which by the way, he did come to seejimbo288 Kit and I that fall for Thanksgiving in real life.) OK, back to the dream… When he walked through the door, his arms  were filled with a bounty of gifts, exquisitely wrapped…along with all the presents were  a few assorted boxes  of Sees candy. I looked behind my wing back chair and there as well, magicallyjimbo291 appearing were even more gorgeously wrapped boxes of all shapes and  sizes. As Alex sat down across from me, his head was down ,so all I  could see was a thick head of hair…He then spoke;  “Susan, Jim sent all of these gifts to you…they are all the things He especially picked out and wanted you and Kit  to have.”   My heart leaped inside, as the last time (in real life and very aware of  it in my  dream)  that you and I had  spoken  was 9 months earlier, when you had a heart attack. I called you while you were in the hospital and we  both told  one another how much  we loved each other, but we  had not been as close as we had been all the many years of our lives. I missed that closeness  SO MUCH! (Back to the dream.)   Suddenly, as my  eyes welled up with tears to tell Alex how touched I was, that you had sent Kit and I all these gifts, (especially knowing Sees candy was  all three of our favorite chocolates,) beheld that  Alex was not Alex at all..As his head lifted up, it was YOU. jimbo204There was my Jim, your eyes welled up with love for me saying “Susan, it is me…I have come to surprise you …all is well.” (He was the YOU I had known all my life…so handsome, smiling ear to ear, full of love and you  could not convey  enough to me how happy you were and that we were all intimate again…there was no division, just an abundance of love and unity between us. (The closeness  I always treasured.)   I wanted to stay in that moment and hold on to the joy and love I felt, forever.


Of course upon awakening from this beautiful dream, I had no idea, that you had died that very night.  A few days later, still feeling gloriously elated from the dream, Patrick called Kit and I to share the tragic  news of your death. When Pat told me the date you actually died, it was then I realized it was the night of my dream, the night you went to heaven…  Knowing that now, I know in my heart and spirit  that YOU, my Jim, big brother and ‘guardian angel,’  did in fact come to me in my dream…wanting to surprise me , telling me how much  you loved me jim10and with your eyes filled and brimming with love, told me that ALL WAS WELL.  You were so happy  Jim…and You and I were the same big brother and little sister we had been that summer evening that  I went to bed without supper because you did,  the same brother and sister who shared grilled swordfish and pecan pie in our first home together, and the same  two friends who hugged and cried, as you helped me pick out  my first pair of diamond earrings.  This dream  was Gods gift to me, as He took you home that autumn season. Forever, it will be in my heart, just as  you will be! Even to this day, I believe it was really YOU, and I hold on to that with all my heart, knowing one day, we will both be in Heaven together…(Kit too.)

I can’t tell you how many times I wish I could see you,  just one last time on this earth…to say some things I never said, to see your smile, to feel your hug and hear your voice and  contagious laugh.   I  can only imagine that you celebrate LOVE everyday up there… Your  living in the very essence of love!  Thank you Jim, for all our wondrous memories, for all your love, caring,  listening, hugs, sharing your heart, crying with me, making me laugh and laughing with me, rejoicing in all the seasons of our lives together and for being my guardian angel and “Big Brother”  here on earth . I love you to the moon, sun and stars and back, (as you’d always say..) Now you can say it and know what it really means and feels like. 🙂

Always , all my love, Your little sister, Susancb



***This Photo that I chose for the top of this blog was the framed photograph Jim gave to me on my birthday in 1996. He gave it to me as a reminder of our special bond and friendship over our lives, thus I chose it for this blog…(just adding the valentines heart.) Here are his sentiments that are written on the back of this gift. A cherished bestowal  that hangs beside my bed…one that I will keep forever.


In 1996:

“My dearest Susan, I believe God destined our lives that we would be brother and sister and that our lives would be enriched and forever blessed. Whether as small children exploring with endless curiosity, young adults making a life for our-self or as old persons having lived a full life, my heart will always have been touched by your love, your kindness, your gentleness and our destinies which have bound us together.

My life is but a story abut the persons who have touched my heart and helped shape my soul; and you dear sister, more than most, have given me life.  I love you Susan, always and forever, Jim”

Then when he visited us at Christmas time in Virginia in 2002, he wrote again on the back of this photo…

“I still feel exactly the same way…I love you, 🙂 Jimbo”

(I never even saw he had written that second part,  until after he died in the  late fall of 2010…)

PHOTOGRAPHS: In placing your computer mouse upon any of the graphics or photos, it will display where the picture originated from.




































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  5. Thanks so much. This blog is especially dear to my heart and I thank you for writing in… I hope you will continue to visit Living Winsomely. Blessings, Susan

  6. Thanks so much for your compliment and for writing in. Because your site is in another language I can’t advertise it on Living Winsomely as I don’t understand the language and what your writing about…If you have a way to translate it into English, I would be happy to support you…I hope you have a blessed day, Susan

  7. Thank you. It was one of my favorite blogs to write, so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for your kind words, blessings, Susan

  8. Awesome memories and tribute to our brother Jim. You are a very special woman of God Susan, Married to a wonderful Man of God. The world is a better place because of the two of you.. Remembering Jim the way you have has touched my heart and caused me too to reflect on the “good times” and the “growing up years”. I love you more than you know or probably think about. But know this Susan, i DO love you with all of my heart. …Donnie

  9. Hi Donnie. Thank you so much for coming to the site and for reading “My Valentines to Jim.” I am so glad that you enjoyed it and that it brought back such good memories. He was one in a million… I had fun writing to him …(hard at times as is was emotional,) 🙂 but good emotions…Thank you for your writing in, and for your beautiful words of love to me .. I love you too Donnie, with all my heart as well, and think of you a lot, miss you and appreciate you so very much. God has blessed my lie in so many ways having you as my big brother. Thank you again for coming to the site and for writing in…its blessed my day! Have a great day and week, Love Susan P.S. Thank you for the beautiful compliments. 🙂

  10. Excellent web page. A lot of techniques here. Now i am transmitting the item to a number of good friends ans also giving inside scrumptious. And definitely, thank you in your work!

  11. We appreciate you any informative web page. The area altogether different might I get that sort of info designed in such an great technique? I have a goal that we are just now managing for, so i are at the be aware of such information.

  12. Thank you for writing in and I am so glad you enjoy the site and this particular post. (It was one of my favorite to write.) 🙂 My web designer created the layout and I do all the writing and visual aid. Thank you and have a wonderful holiday weekend, Susan

  13. You are certainly welcome and thank you for writing in and I hope you will keep coming back to the site. Have a great holiday weekend, Susan

  14. Thank you! I appreciate your compliment and am so glad you enjoyed the post. Have a wonderful weekend, Susan

  15. That may be incredibly intriguing, You will be a relatively skilled blogger. I joined up with ones feed along with crunches with regard to in search of added of this great article. In addition, I’ve truly discussed your site inside my internet sites

  16. Thank you for your support and encouragement to the site. It means a lot. Hope your evening is blessed, Susan

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